• The week’s significant milestones
3,000 Joel Rosario
USA: Joel Rosario reached the 3,000-winner mark (in the US and Canada) on Friday [Nov 13] when he partnered Hit The Woah to a length-and-a-quarter victory in the opener at Aqueduct.
Having turned professional in his native Dominican Republic aged 14, Rosario rode his first winner at the Hippodromo V Centenario in Santo Domingo in July 2000. His first US winner came after he moved to California in 2006 and he has won at least 150 races every season since 2007.
With a total of 91 G1 victories to his name, 35-year-old Rosario has won 13 Breeders’ Cup races – including Vequist and Knicks Go at the most recent edition – and three American Classics, starting with Orb in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. He had won the Dubai World Cup on Animal Kingdom a few weeks previously.
92 Billy Smith
Australia: WA ‘Billy’ Smith, the oldest surviving Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, died last week on the Gold Coast. He was 92.
Smith, whose riding career spanned four decades, won the centenary edition of Australia’s greatest race on 50-1 chance High Jinx. He also won the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership that same season.
He had previously ridden in New Zealand for an extended spell in the 1950s, winning five jockeys’ titles and three Derbys. Having retired in the early 1980s, Smith was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2018.
23 Yutaka Take
Japan: Legendary rider Yutaka Take hit the century mark for the 23rd time when Les Annees Falles won the sixth race, a maiden over 2,000 metres on a 12-race card at Hanshin on Sunday [Nov 15].
With a career total of 4,229, 51-year-old Take has ridden more JRA winners than anyone in history. He is fifth in the current jockeys’ title race behind defending champion Chirstophe Lemaire on 181.
10 Luke Morris
GB: Indefatigable jockey Luke Morris reached the century for the tenth year in a row when he scored on Ruth Carr-trained Athmad at Wolverhampton on Saturday night [Nov 14].
Morris, 32, is the sixth rider in Britain to top 100 winners in the calendar year following Ben Curtis, Oisin Murphy, William Buick, Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle.
A four-time AW champion, he holds the record in Britain with 102 winners in 2014-15. In the truncated 2019-20 AW season, Morris – who rode his first winner in November 2005 – was runner-up to Curtis, who had 101 winners and would have eclipsed his record but for the COVID-19 cessation.
The official jockeys’ title, won recently for the second time by Murphy, operates under different parameters. Using the calendar-year basis, reigning AW champ Curtis leads with 161 winners compared to Murphy’s 144.